New Data System Leads To Major Bus Route Issues

Posted at 6:49 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 15:25:18-04

Metro Nashville parents, students and teachers were prepared for the start of school, but there was just one problem - some students had a hard time getting there.

"We always have kinks that have to get worked out, this year we've had buses not show up, different clusters have had kids dropped off at wrong schools. It's been worse this year than in year past," said Sarah Galloway.

Parents like Galloway have had to go out of their way to make sure their kids get to and from school.

"We've tried to make light of if and not get very upset by it but it is frustrating," she said.

"We know how frustrating this is for families. It is extremely frustrating. We're seeing that frustration when families talk to us or when they call our call center," school district spokesperson, Joe Bass said.

During the summer the district moved to a new student data system, transferring 88,000 student addresses from the old Power School system, which is being phased out, to the new Infinite Campus system. However, when the transfer was made back in July, "about 2,000 or so student addresses didn't make it," said Bass. 

It meant staffers have had to spend the last several weeks adding and verifying 2,000 student addresses into the new system by hand.

"There's a large team of people pulling a lot of long hours to make this happen," said Bass.
Officials hope to have it worked out by the end of the week with bus routes on track by next week.

MNPS isn't the only agency who had bus problems at the start of school. Several Nashville charter schools are back pedaling from the transportation company they're contracted with.

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Tennessee Rocketship Education Regional Director Shaka Mitchell. He responded with the following statement:

"The bus company Rocketship contracted for this school year, ACR Transportation, was not prepared to deliver on their service agreement with Rocketship and four other charter networks. 4,000 families across 11 Nashville charter schools were impacted by unacceptable transportation failures last week. On the first day of school, August 2nd, ACR was only able to run 8 of 12 routes for Rocketship. We terminated our contract with ACR Transportation on August 5 and immediately hired a new transportation partner that resumed all bus service as soon as possible, which was yesterday, Monday August 8. 

All buses ran yesterday morning but four were late by 20 minutes or more. All buses departed school on time yesterday afternoon. We have all buses and drivers in place for the school year and are now working to revise bus schedules with our new transportation partner to ensure safe, reliable, and on-time transportation for every student every day.  We understand the significant inconvenience this has created for our families and greatly apologize. We are grateful and appreciative to our families for their flexibility and commitment to our schools as we actively work to deliver the same level of excellence in transportation that we deliver in our classrooms every day." -Shaka Mitchell